According to the EU youth strategy 2019-2027, gender-based discrimination still affects many young people, especially young women. Equal opportunities and access to rights must be ensured for young people of all genders including non-binary and LGBTQI+ young people. The Strategy recognizes that education remains a key to active citizenship, inclusive society, and employability and therefore should focus more on transferable skills, student-centered learning, and non-formal education.
Nowadays the issue of fighting discrimination through diversity acceptance is crucial for an evolving and modern education system but also for an open-minded society. SEN and SEND students, students members of the LGBTQI community, or just students with minor diversity and acceptance issues consist a high percentage of the schools’ dynamics, especially in teen and preteen age. Body shaming as a means of self-rejection is also a situation that highly affects teenagers and preteenagers and leads to severe psychological and behavioral issues and needs to be addressed in a discrete and contemporary way.
Currently, in schools, there is a lot that needs to be done to reach the desired level of recognition and acceptance, including self-acceptance.
Art is a means that can be healing and can help students realize matters in an easier simple and more comprehensive manner. While it is well documented that art can be used in education, its connection with technology, science, and contemporary social issues has not been highly exploited, especially in participating countries. Art is like an always evolving organism and creates emotions and creative thoughts and when it is accompanied by gaming it can activate the interest in education and social matters. The motivation behind this program is to address the issue of diversity in teen and preteen schools in an exciting, innovative, and effective way, that combines technology, science, art, and gamification.
The program should be funded because it brings together schools from different countries with similar diversity acceptance issues (Greece, Turkey) and allows them to increase their scientific and artistic potential while dealing with the issue of diversity. It will also lead to significant results that can be used by other schools for the same purposes: a STEAM on diversity curriculum, an application that can help students realize and love mathematics (MTC), films about diversity, and an application that connects art to the decrease of body shaming (ROM). The funding is important not only for the connection and the mobility of the participants but also for the development and use of technology that is vital for the scientific and technological part. It should also be funded because it will open a path for future projects that will connect art with and expand the creative thinking and knowledge capacity of the students.